Homogeneous Electron-Transfer Reactions Studied by Internal Reflection Spectroelectrochemistry

Nicholas Winograd, Theodore Kuwana

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54 Scopus citations


Using the technique of internal reflection spectroelectrochemistry with subsequent signal averaging, two types of fast homogeneous electron-transfer reactions have been studied. In the reproportionation type where the reacting pairs differ by two electrons (A1 + A1 ⇌ 2A1±) an electrochemical potential perturbation was applied to transform through heterogeneous transfer, A1 to A1, at a diffusion-controlled rate at the electrode surface. The A1± species was usually optically monitored during this perturbation to relate concentration in the reaction layer to the kinetics. Values of Keq for the reactions were conveniently evaluated from the differences in the peak potentials obtained by cyclic voltammetry. In the other cross-electron-transfer reaction (A1 + A ⇌ A1± + A2), two molecular pairs (1 and 2) and their one-electron ions are involved. Particular attention was given to a series of ferrocene molecules reacting with a single redox couple, tri-p-anisylamine and its radical cation in the solvent of acetonitrile. The general magnitudes for the rate constants were correctly predicted by the Marcus theory and, for the ferrocene series, the correct relative rates were found. The rates were predominantly dependent on the standard free energy for the reacting redox pairs. Rates varying over a range of six orders of magnitude are reported. Thin platinum films deposited on glass or quartz were used as optically transparent electrodes in this work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4343-4350
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 1 1971

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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